Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. He is based in Sacramento.


Unions Are Root Cause of Policing Problems


Even before the chilling murders of police officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Kansas City, most conservatives had been rallying around the “boys in blue,” defending law enforcement against allegations it is racially biased and abusive and fearing a new “war on cops.” It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the cause of “law and […]

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Californians Getting Their Democracy ‘Good and Hard’


Sacramento As we roll toward the November ballot, I’m reminded of H.L. Mencken’s quip that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” We always get it “good and hard” in California given the ever-expanding one-party rule. The worse it gets, the more […]

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Another Revolting Attack on Our Liberties


Sacramento During a recent stroll around the west steps of the state Capitol, I eyed a group of “Yes California Independence Campaign” handing out the state flag. The flag contains a wonderful image of a bear that harkens back to the 1846 “Bear Flag Revolt,” when residents of Alta California declared themselves independent of Mexico […]

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Crumbling Roads? Let’s Build Bike Lanes!


In his State of the State address earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown pointed to California’s deferred infrastructure maintenance as “staggering” and put the price tag for repairs at $77 billion. One would be hard-pressed to find any policymaker from either party who doesn’t see the state’s crumbling and inadequate infrastructure as a crisis, although […]

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Even Booming Bay Area Sees an Exodus


When asked whether he wanted to have dinner at a particular restaurant, Yogi Berra famously quipped, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” It’s easy to apply that contradictory concept to a recent poll showing more than a third of San Francisco Bay Area residents want to move out of the area in the next […]

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Secrecy Lobby Runs Amok at State Capitol


Sacramento Last week, I reported on an ominous development in the California Capitol — an effort to criminalize a political point of view. Democratic leaders authored a bill that would have made it illegal for corporations and think tanks to “mislead” the public on climate change. To the officials who would police it, skepticism of […]

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The End of the Free-Speech Consensus


Sacramento What happens when the consensus for free speech evaporates and those with political power become willing to use any means necessary to silence people who hold unpopular views? We’ll probably soon receive the answer in California, as the state’s dominant Democrats set the stage for prosecutors to take action against climate-change “deniers.” “A landmark […]

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Scandal Dampens Sacramento’s World-Class Designs


Sacramento I have a simple observation after years of writing about local-development issues: Whenever civic boosters talk about creating a “world-class city,” their city is by definition not one now. The more eager city officials are to use the “world-class” term, the more certain you can be they are governing second-rate places. Few politicians have […]

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One Senator’s War on Innovation


How does Ben Hueso get away with it? Sacramento The California Legislature is well-known for its heavy-handed approach to business. The state recently scored dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s survey of CEOs, which isn’t even newsworthy, given the state continually ranks at the bottom. I recall the senator who years ago, after being asked […]

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This Crowd Believes It Can Run Your Life


Even as its members get caught up in scandal after scandal. Sacramento There’s only one time I recall California officials significantly reducing regulations on anything. That was in 2012, when legislators voted to let physician assistants, midwives, nurses and plumbers provide “routine” abortions. I’m joking about the plumbers, but abortion clinics — and perhaps craft […]

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